Bidding Tips for May – LAA
As reported in the most recent JSIC update, APFA has filed a Presidential Grievance as well as a Cease & Desist against the Company’s phased approach of implementing incomplete provisions, including pay protections and the elimination of Available (AVBL) days for LAA effective for the May bid month.
The Company’s recent communication to LAA Flight Attendants regarding tips for May bidding seems to indicate, yet again, that management plans to forge ahead with no consideration for the potential harm to Flight Attendants and a complete disregard for input from the APFA members of the JSIC regarding JCBA implementation.
Although APFA will continue to seek a remedy through the grievance process, Flight Attendants should be aware of how the elimination of AVBL days could affect their May bid award:
Traditionally, AVBL days were used to supplement vacation relief (RL) lines that cannot be built above 65 hours. With the elimination of AVBL days in May, some relief lines could be ‘busted’ resulting in fewer relief lines awarded as well as the potential for trips being plotted on your schedule.
Open Replacement (RP 3000) lines will be constructed using whatever trips end up in open time as a result of any “busted” relief lines. This could result in more undesirable trips being plotted on these lines as well as an increased need for reserves to cover any trips remaining in open time.
Partial RL lines and RP lines will be constructed with a target value between 65 to 70 hours. Full RL lines will contain all the trips in the original selection. The Company announced that any Flight Attendant who holds an RL line worth less than 70 hours, will receive a miscellaneous credit for the difference between the 70 hours and the actual hours on her/his line. The Credit will be added at the end of the month, regardless of changes made to the RL or RP line by the Flight Attendant during the month.
In order to protect yourself and get the most benefit from your bidding strategy, keep the following in mind when bidding, especially if you plan to bid for RL and/or RP, or if you find yourself on the back-up reserve list for May:
May Bidding Tips:
- Make sure you bid enough lines – There is no way to adequately predict how a potential reduction in RL lines could affect the overall bidding process. “Piggybacking” on reliefs could be reduced as a result of more RL lines being busted.
- If you bid RL or RP lines, make sure to add remarks – Keep in mind that No Pre-plot (NP) and Duty-free (DF) period remarks were never considered for RL. DF period requests will still be considered for RP lines; however, effective with the May bid month, NP requests will no longer be considered. You should still utilize all other applicable remarks should it become necessary to supplement your schedule with plotted trips. Remarks are read in the order in which they are input. (See chart below for applicable remark codes)
- Flight Attendants on the Reserve back-up list should back themselves up – Due to an expected increase in reserves, those on the back-up list should back themselves up with reserve bids in case they are pulled onto reserve in May.
- Do not assume you will hold an RP line – Although the Company plans to utilize trips left over from the busted RL lines to create replacement lines, there is no guarantee that you will hold it. Keep in mind that Domestic and International sequences could appear on these lines as well as RL lines.
Additionally, Make-up (MU), Option II (II), Critical Coverage (CC) (CR), Limited Option II for Reserves (L2), Low in Time (LO) and Hi-time Availability (HVBL) (can be moved) will continue to be available after you receive your bids from May through July.
Note: The Company has also stated that it could take a day or two to publish the initial phase 1 bid award after bids close. Although we are used to seeing phase 1 on the following day, contractually the Company has until the 26th to finalize the bids.
APFA National Scheduling Chair